Nine Inch Nails, "The Beginning Of The End"
Year Zero marked the fastest followup that Trent Reznor had produced to date, with the album appearing a mere two years after With Teeth. At least five years had separated studio albums up to this point. Perhaps as a result of the relatively short gestation of this album, it's not a lot different musically from the predecessor. It's a theme album of sorts, examining a dystopian United States in the near future. It was marketed with an augmented reality campaign, which was genuinely new in 2007. The music itself is solid, but isn't one of NiN's essential albums.
We all have bands that we hold in higher esteem than the wider world. Bands that have been largely forgotten by the wider culture, but which continue to resonate with us. We had one of mine yesterday, with Pond, and today we get another one. Gaunt made four ripping punk albums in the mid-90s, full of great energy and catchy tunes. This tune comes from my favorite album of theirs, Kryptonite, their last before they jumped to a major label. Please check them out, they don't deserve to be forgotten.
μ-Ziq, a one-man electronic act, were kind of all over the place, experimenting with different sounds. The late 90s/early 2000s were his best period, and this comes Bilious Paths, the final album of that top period. This song plays out as kind of a throwback to Hard Normal Daddy-era Squarepusher, which I am on-board with.
Prince Paul, "To Get A Gun"
Prince Paul's first solo record, Psychoanalysis: What Is It? is an unfocused, strange album full of drum samples and odd vocal samples. The overall feeling of the album is disorienting, which is something I like. At one point, I took one of the tracks on this on this record, which involved a creepy-sounding person asking you to tell you about your dreams, and used it as my answering machine message. The net result was to deeply freak out both my mother and my sister, who were both convinced that it was evidence of some mental health struggles. My mother in particular refused to believe that it was just a goof on my part.
James Brown, "I Got The Feelin'"
I'm not sure what to say about James Brown that hasn't already been said, so instead, I'm just going to plug the excellent Showtime At The Apollo graphic novel recommended by my friend Rob. It's a delight seeing the history of the legendary venue laid out like that.